Deleating Cookies

  Green 1 02:47 27 Jan 2003

Please can anyone help me? If I go to Start then Explore then Temp Int Folders I get page after page of cookies, thousands of the little things as well as lots of other 1K files. My question is can I safely get rid of these or will my comp throw a wobbler. I`m not too techy so please be gentle, many thanks for any replies.

  Lozzy 03:28 27 Jan 2003

Yes you can delete these and you should delete these at least once a week.. You will have no fear whatsoever of messing up your PC by deleting cookies..

  temp003 03:29 27 Jan 2003

Cookies are safe to delete in terms of the running of your computer.

The only cookies you may want to keep are those which store your preferences or other information (like user name and password) in relation to certain sites. For example, if you have created your own "My Yahoo" page which only displays the options you want; or the BBC News website which asks you to select the international or UK edition; or a website which requires you to input a username and password and you have enabled those details to be remembered so that you don't have to type them up every time.

A cookie file usually has a name like "Your computer/user name", so you know where it comes from. However, sometimes the cookie from a website may bear the name of a third party. For example, the cookie from this forum is [email protected] not pcadvisor.

Even if you delete those cookies which store your preferences/information, it will not cause your computer to malfunction. It just means that next time you visit that website, it goes to the default page. You will need to set up your preferences again, or re-enter your password.

If there are such websites, you can go through the cookies and delete them selectively. But since you probably have hundreds of them, you may simply delete them all, start afresh, and from now on, delete them regularly. Or, you can simply leave them alone.

  Green 1 03:37 27 Jan 2003

Many thank Lozzy and temp003, One final thing if I may, do all these cookies and things slow my comp down? Once again thanks for the in depth answer.

  Simon_P 07:03 27 Jan 2003

if you are willing to part with a few quid, there is a program called internet cleanup by "Ontrack" with this you can protect needed cookies before you run a cleanup. also there is "Norton"claensweep"
Hope this helps

  temp003 08:13 27 Jan 2003

Having looked at your 1st post again, I think you are looking at the contents of the Temporary Internet Files folder (which has cookies and other files - the “little things” you were talking about). Anything in this folder is safe to delete.

Cookies are very small text files, and even 100 of them may take up only about 10KB of hard disk space. They don’t slow down your computer. They do track your browsing activities and send the info to website administrators (most of them without identifying who you are) to see how many hits they get or what things people are interested in. It’s not a big deal, but it’s good housekeeping to clean them up regularly and makes it easier to keep track of the cookies you want to retain, if any.

The other “little things” are the temporary internet files. Too many of them may theoretically slow down internet browsing. When you look at a website, the page is stored in the Temporary Internet Files folder. Next time you hit the same page, your browser does not have to re-download the whole page, but call up the right temporary internet files on your computer, and only download what's changed. There’s a size limit for this folder, which you can change. When the folder is full, old items get deleted to store new files.

They are there to speed up loading a web page, but if you allow too many pages to be stored in the folder, your browser takes a little longer to search for the right files to load. There are so many other factors affecting the speed of internet browsing it won’t make too much difference. But again it’s another piece of housekeeping worth bearing in mind.

If you use IE6, in IE, click Tools, Internet Options (or Control Panel Internet Options). Under the General tab, look at the temporary internet files section.

Click “Delete Files” to delete temporary internet files other than cookies.

Click “Delete Cookies” to delete ALL cookies. So do not use this method if you want to keep some cookies. Go to the folder as you have just done and delete them manually.

Click “Settings” to see and adjust the max size of the folder. Too high without regular cleanup will mean longer time to search. Too low and you may have to re-download your favourite web pages too often. It depends on your browsing habit. I’ve set mine to 12MB (I think it used to be 20MB by default, not sure), but I’m a light internet user, and others may find that too small.

It’s not really necessary to change the setting. Just do a cleanup of this folder regularly, or after a particularly heavy browsing session when you know you’ve visited a lot of sites which you won’t be revisiting.

You can use Simon7063’s suggestion of third party software (I use Norton Clean Sweep myself). For cookies and temporary internet files, you already know enough to do it manually yourself. You can also use Windows’ own Disk Cleanup, although I find it takes way too long to load the options for cleanup (because it always goes through my computer to check for old files to compress, which I never do).

  €dstow 08:20 27 Jan 2003

All cookies from all my machines get chucked out on Friday afternoon every week. I do a disk cleanup as well and check whether a defrag is needed.


  Andsome 08:20 27 Jan 2003

Yo ay arf good wi werds ay yer? Thats Brummie. Couldn't have said it better myself.

  pj123 12:11 27 Jan 2003

You will also find in the Cookies folder and the Temporary Internet Files folder an index.dat file which grows and grows. I have written a batch file which will delete everything in all these folders in one go. (doesn't work on Win XP as Win XP does not have DOS) If you want a copy of this batch file email me and I will send it to you.


  Filch 14:12 27 Jan 2003

In IE, click Tools, Internet Options, Advanced, then go down to Empty Temporary Internet Files Folder when Browser is closed and put a check in the box (it's near the bottom of the list). This won't effect your cookies but will get rid of all the other 'junk'.

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